VISAKHAPATNAM: “They were all reeking of alcohol. They beat up our friends black and blue and drove them away. We begged them to leave us alone. But they dragged me by my neck. I blame myself for going to the jatara that day,” said the 13-year-old girl in her tribal dialect.
She frequently broke down at the King George Hospital (KGH) while narrating the nightmare she went through on May 20.The 13-year-old and her 10-year-old friend from Chervulaveena were gangraped by eight persons, including the sons of a Telugu Desam MPTC member and a head constable, in a school building at Tajangi village in Chintapalle mandal of Viakhapatnam Agency.
According to the police, the girls, along with their two male friends, went to the jatara at Tajangi in the evening. Around 10 pm, when it started raining, the crowd dispersed and the girls, with their friends, ran into a school building nearby to take shelter.
“It was dark and some eight people came into the building. Posing as cops, they asked us a few questions and started beating up our friends,” said the minor even as her uncle M Nagendra translated what she was saying to Telugu.
“With folded hands, we told them to leave our friends. But, they kept thrashing them. One of them slapped me. They told us to stop shouting. Otherwise, they would kill us. Then, a person came and pulled me by my hair and dragged me to a corner of a room. He slapped me. I saw a few others dragging my friend to a classroom. They forced themselves on us,” the girl said.
Hearing the girls’ screaming, some locals approached the school building. “I don’t remember the time, but my friends and a few people came running to me as the culprits fled. Then we returned home in the dark,” she said.
The family members said that the girls reached home at around 4 am on Sunday. They appeared lost. “The girls did not tell us anything. After taking bath, they had breakfast and left for work (they are daily wage earners),” said a family member.
But, the news spread in the nearby hamlets by noon. “At around 2 pm, I received a phone call from our sarpanch. He asked me whether I knew about last night’s incident. I did not understand anything. Then, the Sarpanch told me everything,” said Nagendra.
“We asked the girls why they did not tell us about the incident. They said the culprits had threatened to kill them. They are just 10 and 13 years old. They were frightened,” said Nagendra, crying. “Now who will marry these girls? We want justice,” he said.